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External radiology service required at University Hospital Kerry

By Paul Mulholland - 19th Mar 2023

radiology services

The HSE is seeking to appoint an external provider to assist with radiology services in University Hospital Kerry (UHK). The tender document cites “year-on-year growth in demand for diagnostics” at the hospital for the decision.

The tender states that a consultant radiologist will need to be on site for two days during normal working hours.

There is also an off-site requirement for remote radiology services for three days a week.

The on-call consultant radiologist requirement will be one-in-five weekends.

A spokesperson for the South/South West Hospital Group told the Medical Independent (MI) that radiology services across the Group’s hospitals, including UHK, “utilise external supports to meet the ongoing demands and ensure clinical requirements for diagnostics are met.”

In response to a question from MI on the number of consultant radiologists at the hospital and the number of related vacancies, the spokesperson said: “The radiology services in UHK are funded for five consultants and UHK continues in its activities to recruit with an active campaign currently ongoing to fill the permanent vacancies.”

The tender document states that in 2021, some 74,020 radiological examinations were performed within UHK and the local Caherciveen Community Hospital, excluding multi-disciplinary meetings and MRI scans.

The tender document also outlines that there was recent significant capital investment in UHK with the provision for the replacement of a fluoroscopy in plain film imaging system, and a new and additional CT scanner.

In November 2022, the President of the European Society of Radiology, Prof Aidan Brady, told this newspaper that the Irish health service was “vastly underserved” in terms of the number of radiologists being trained and employed.

“There is a lot of talk in the press about expanding access to diagnostic tests in Ireland, which is a good idea,” said Prof Brady, a Consultant Radiologist at Mercy University Hospital, Cork.

“But there is very little talk about where those people who are going to interpret those diagnostic tests are going to come from.”

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